26th Jul, 2023 13:00

Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire

 
  Lot 135
 

1997 Bentley Continental T
Only 43,000 miles from new

Sold for £45,000

(including buyers premium)


Lot details

Registration No: P583 GPF
Chassis No: SCBZU23C2VCH53473
MOT: April 2024

  • One of only 104 RHD Continental T's built
  • Just 3 former keepers
  • Showing a genuine 43,500 miles from new
  • Subject of much recent expenditure

Though launched at the Geneva motor show of 1991, many elements of the John Heffernan/Ken Greenley-penned Continental R had been seen at the same salon as far back as 1984, when Bentley unveiled their 'Project 90' concept car; a suitably enthusiastic reception leading the company to develop the car for production. Clearly the Sultan of Brunei approved of the end result, as he bought the 1991 show car at the exhibition. The Continental tag was intended to recall memories of the elegant Bentley Continentals of the '50s and '60s, while the 'R' was a hark back to R Type Bentleys of the '50s and the Turbo R of the '80s. The new car was based on the Turbo R floorpan and powered by that model's 6.75-litre turbocharged V8 engine, that was believed (the Rolls-Royce/Bentley company of the day never quoted horsepower figures) to produce in the region of 325bhp. Whatever, it was sufficient to give a top speed of some 145mph and a 0-60mph acceleration time of around 6.6 seconds - no mean performance for a car weighing in at some 2.5 tons. The engine drove through the then new 4-speed GM 4L80-E transmission. The striking two-door body featured more curvature than the Rolls-Royce and Bentley saloons of the time and while its drag coefficient of 0.465 was unimpressive in general terms, it was nevertheless a huge improvement over that of previous Bentleys. Unlike all other Bentleys since the S3 of 1965, its body was unique to the marque and not shared with any model of Rolls-Royce. It was a big car by any standards, being some 17.5 feet long and over 6.5 feet wide. The 24 gallon fuel tank was a clue to the fuel consumption when the full performance was employed. In 1996, Bentley decided to recreate an element of the Continentals of the post war period, with a more powerful, short wheelbase model with uprated suspension and a sportier interior - enter the Bentley Continental T. This model was equipped with the most powerful of Bentley's ubiquitous OHV turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 engine. With an output of 420bhp and 875 Nm of torque (reputedly more than that offered by any other manufacturer in the world), the Continental T could see speeds of up to 170mph - territory normally reserved for supercars.

Hunter, a distinctive 1997 Bentley Continental T, earned its nickname due to its colour reminiscent of a well-known brand of wellies. It is one of only 104 models produced for the UK market between 1996 and 2003. 1997 was the peak year of production for the right-hand drive version, with only 42 cars produced that year. This elegant motor car boasts a Bentley Racing Green solid paint exterior and a luxurious interior specified with Sandstone Hide and Conifer carpets. The cabin also features contrasting Spruce hide on the top roll and center console, as well as Spruce piping on the seats. Initially, it was specified with a Burr Walnut veneer without any inlays, a departure from the typical Rolls-Royce style of that period, and turned aluminium was avoided on the door cappings. To this day, Hunter retains its original shaded Sundym Windscreen and Backlight with green bands. Its power output was 400 bhp, though some later models received a boost to 420 bhp. Hunter was assembled in Crewe but received additional attention at the Mulliner Park Ward Division, where details like turned aluminium on the facia and a gear lever trimmed in Sandstone and Spruce leather were added. However, the first owner had a change of heart and decided to return the facia to a veneered finish. The car, identified by its registration number VCH53473, was released from the Production Department on May 6, 1997. It was then transported to Jack Barclay in Nine Elms, London, for preparation before being acquired by its first owner, Mr. Stuart Leslie Wenman, and registered as A8SLW. The original list price of the car was £220,312.50, inclusive of VAT at that time, and with additional features and delivery costs, the total amounted to approximately £408,870 in today's money. Hunter's history is well-documented, with its original build documents consisting of 114 pages, and dealer service documents from 1997 to 2002 running to 281 pages. The car comes with its original handbooks and two service books. After its first owner's passing in 2009, Hunter was sold at auction in April 2010 to James Hull, a cosmetic dentistry millionaire with an extensive car collection of over 450 cars. Subsequently, Hull's collection, including Hunter, was sold to Jaguar Motors in the UK, and the car was stored at the Jaguar Classic works near Coventry for around six years. In 2020, the current vendor purchased Hunter, described as a non-runner at the time, at an online auction. The car has since been recommissioned and enjoyed around 3,000 miles of use per year, mostly in the Scottish Highlands and on the Isle of Skye. As part of the recommissioning process, the current owner made various upgrades and modifications, including replacing loudspeaker components with high-quality Focal components, adding an Audison sub-woofer in the boot, and replacing the factory Alpine-derived radio/cassette unit with a modern Pioneer system featuring DAB, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a reversing camera. In 2022, the car suffered an impact on the rear offside in a low-speed car park manoeuvre, but it was expertly repaired by Cheshire Prestige Paintworks. Additionally, repairs were made to evident blemishes on the nearside to bring the car up to show standard. The wheels could potentially be re-chromed, as they show some degree of pitting due to winter use. Overall, Hunter is in excellent condition, aside from the mentioned minor issues, making it a remarkable and cherished Bentley Continental T model.

For more information, please contact:
Julian Pinkster
julian.pinkster@handh.co.uk
07889 223 904

 

All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:

               

Auction: Pavilion Gardens | Buxton, Derbyshire, 26th Jul, 2023

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held in the beautiful surrounds of the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, Derbyshire.  

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Bidding will take place live at the venue, online via our website, by telephone and commission. 

Parking at the venue is available and entry into the auction is free for auction attendees with a catalogue, available at the door. 

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click the Get A Valuation button. All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

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Tuesday 25th July 2023 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 26th July 2023 from 9am

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